It has come to my attention that many of you complain about the ’œinconveniences’ of air travel. I think that you may not be appreciating what your loyal luggage goes through every time you fly (and thank goodness I’m strictly a carry-on bag ’“ checked baggage has it MUCH worse!) Usually, aviation reporting and analysis is sorely lacking the luggage perspective, but AirlineReporter has given me this opportunity to set the record straight.
Consider the following elements of the passenger experience, and what your bags suffer through for your benefit:
I hear that humans do not enjoy removing their shoes, or figuring out what constitutes three ounces of liquid. It appears to me that humans routinely remove their shoes in other situations, such as every single day of their lives. What an inconvenience that must be for you! Do you know how I am inconvenienced at security? Potentially having a stranger open me up and search all of my insides. Your bags do not enjoy a body cavity search any more than you do.
I realize that you have to be screened and/or hand-searched also, but you do not have to ride through the x-ray machine. Even though I am an inanimate object, all of that radiation cannot be good for me. If I start glowing in the dark — you’ll know that things have gone horribly wrong.
Humans seem to complain about the width and pitch of seats in economy class. So let me ask you, how would you enjoy being stuffed underneath a seat? Did you spend 11 hours on the floor flying from Frankfurt to Seattle? I didn’t think so. And do you want to know what else is on the floor? I could go on all day: pretzel crumbs, discarded gum, used napkins, unexplained stains, etc. I bet you have never looked at the floor that closely because you don’t spend the whole flight sitting on it. Next time you’re booking a flight, give some thought to how new the carpet on that plane is.
DEVIL’S ADVOCATE BONUS: Carry On’s Getting Out of Hand ’“ Start Checking Your Bags People!
But, there is something even worse than the floor: the overhead bin. It is dark and stuffy in there, with no air vents. I hate not being able to see, and I am claustrophobic — so it is a very uncomfortable way to travel. Humans who sit in the bulkhead rows must hate their bags. That is the only conclusion I can come to.
If you really want to show your bag that you love them, why not share your companion pass with them and give them a seat of their own?
3. OTHER PASSENGERS – UGH
I am fortunate that I do not have to deal with seats reclining into my space or unwanted conversation from seatmates. However, let’s talk for a minute about feet. I do not like feet. And yet they often encroach upon the tiny bit of personal space I do have underneath the seat. Feet are generally unpleasant and particularly tall passengers sometimes kick me by mistake. Kicking your loyal carry-ons while they’re already down? Jerk move, humans. Keep your feet to yourself. And if you aren’t, please, oh please, at least have some socks on.
Also, watch your drinks. At the end of one flight, I was all sticky and my human had to clean me off with wet wipes. Very undignified for a world traveler such as myself. When was the last time that happened to you at the end of a flight? Hopefully, only when you were a tiny human still in diapers.
4. IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
I hear a lot about this so-called ’œin-flight entertainment.’ How entertaining do you think it is to sit on the floor staring at the humans’ feet? When I last flew Alaska Airlines with my human in first class, she was given complementary use of one of their new Windows tablets. But did she share with me? No! I stayed on the floor while she watched Jersey Boys. She could have held me on her lap so that we could watch a movie together, but she was too busy drinking Baileys and eating all the food she could get her hands on for free.
Next time you’re enjoying a movie on a plane, move your tray table out of the way and let your carry-on bag have a look too. We don’t even care what movie it is. It has to be better than feet.
Sometimes you are traveling on a flight that does not have Wi-Fi and all I hear is complaining. I do not have hands with which to hold any kind of Wi-Fi-enabled device, so it is hard for me to feel sympathy for your situation. Back in my day, we didn’t have all of these fancy devices to you — get off Facebook and try reading a book, why don’t you?
You may argue that I spend a lot of time on Twitter. This is true. But I don’t feel the need to live tweet every detail of every flight. Perhaps if I did, more attention would be paid to the substandard conditions in which bags are expected to travel.
So, the next time you get on an airplane, take a moment and think of your trusty traveling companion: your carry-on bag. We go everywhere you go, and carry around all of your crap, but without any choice in the matter. If one of our straps breaks, it’s just us getting a little payback in the only way we know how. But we don’t want that to happen any more than you do. A little consideration goes a long way, OK, humans?
I think we can all agree that despite some inconveniences, air travel is still pretty amazing. How else could a bag like me see the world? It sure beats staying at home in the closet or even worse — taking the bus — never!
Pan Am Bag